The Olympus Stylus-9000 finds itself in a category of camera just below the ultrazoom, but has just enough focal power to get itself out of the standard 3x zone. It aims to provide a broad spectrum of zoom range and 12 megapixels of high-resolution. The 12 megapixel club seems to the sweet spot where noise is filtered out because of larger pixel sites on DSLRs, but this mentality doesn't transfer well to the image sensor that is less than an inch on most point-and-shoots, including the Stylus-9000.
There is a lot to like about the Stylus-9000, including ease of use, the zoom power, iAuto function and quick AF. There are also some things that are less desirable, including little to no manual control over exposure settings, poor performance at high ISO sensitivities and the degradation found in some of the images.
With all things being considered, is the Stylus-9000 worth its price of $239 street? I took this camera with me on a three-day trip across the U.S. and never found a problem with it while snap shooting. This camera is geared for the casual shooter looking for focal power and full automatic controls and it doesn't demand all the precision of a more expensive camera with more manual control. The camera is a great travel companion, but it can't be pushed past the limits of a snap shooting camera. The Stylus-9000 is what it is, an entry-level to intermediate point-and-shoot with some cool features.
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